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Neptune Oyster - when to go?

Had my first meal at Neptune the other week and I'm already dying to go back. Given that they don't take reservations, though, I was wondering if anyone more experienced has a sense of when things quiet down in there (if ever). Is there any time of day or week when I'd stand a chance of sitting down without too much of a wait?

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  1. I've always had pretty good luck going in mid-afternoon, the only time I've gone in fact, and I've always gotten a seat.

    1. I generally go around 4:00 during the week. I've never had to wait.

      1. or right when they open, @ 11:30. sunday afternoons, post-brunch but pre-dinner, also mellow.

        1. When I can manage it, my favorite time to go is from the late side of lunch through late afternoon. Leisurely, and I usually see some chef eating there.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          5 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I love going to Neptune for lunch, but my recollection is that they don't serve the daily special (e.g., Monday's lobster spaghettini!!!) at lunchtime. Anyone know if I'm correct and, if so, what time they start serving it?

            1. re: Blumie

              True, that. Dinner service only, which starts at 5:30p, I believe.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I had the spaghettini at lunch several months ago. Has this changed?

                1. re: BBHound

                  News to me: I did exactly what Blumie did on a Monday a while back, tried to get the spaghettini at lunch, and was denied.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    it seems to depend on if the product has been delivered in time for the dish to be ready for lunch. i've been a few times when purveyor trucks are simply running late and i'm out of luck. :(

          2. Here is the skinny on Neptune.....For lunch....Early is always good....The doors open at 1130...You should be fine if you are there by 12 15....But in general Lunch is a great time to visit Neptune...Saturday and Sundays are a challenge especially Saturday! The nicer the weather the busier the place seems to be....

            Dinner....This place is always busy....Every night between 645 and 815 expect to wait a real long time sometimes up to 2 hours... believe it or not sporting events effect the business here...Celtic s games make the place jump early....Starting at 5pm....Hint Hint...The only time You can walk in the door at 7 pm is on a Celtics game...There is a max exit when the crowd Leaves to go to the game...

            Neptune gets has been blessed with all the press lately..The good new for Bostonians is that peek tourist season is ending...As the weather gets colder the business falls off...

            I hope this hes been helpful!

            6 Replies
            1. re: CheesusChrist

              This does not bode well for my planned trip tonight. Might have to see if I can check out early from work to hit it up. :(

              1. re: kobuta

                At least it is beautiful out. You can leave your name and cell# at Neptune and walk around the NE. They will call when your table is ready. I don't mind Bacco right down the street for a drink.

                1. re: Gabatta

                  Neither of us drink. I can certainly take my DC on a little touristy run (she's from SF in for a conference), but if the wait can be up to 2 hrs, don't think either of us will last that long, since both of us have work the next morning. She also needs to be taken back to her Back Bay hotel, and then I have to head back to the S. Shore from there. Coming from Cambridge/Back Bay to N.End though means even with leaving work early, we won't be there until 6:30ish at the earliest.

                2. re: kobuta

                  Caution. The area around Neptune is very crowded today. Ben Affleck is filming his movie on the corner of Salem and Parmenter this PM.

                  Maybe it will die down later but Neptune's been packed all PM.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Happy to report that we arrived a little after 6 to a nearly empty restaurant. Two tables were seated, with 2-3 at the bar. We were given choice seats near the back (with an extra few cms of elbow room!). Crowd came in between 6:30pm and 7pm, and a short line by the time we left at 7:30pm. Food was excellent! Went for a lobster roll (hot) even though it's not really my thing, and I loved it. My DC didn't even know what a lobster roll was and loved it too, and we left stuffed. Sadly no movie star sightings (didn't realize they were even filming, so they may have wrapped by the time we got there).

                3. re: CheesusChrist

                  My time is not that flexible and I have only gone on Saturdays in the summer about 5:00 PM, and I never had to wait. In fact, early dinners on Saturdays in the summer are a great time to go to all popular restaurants.

                4. Another fan of the mid-day, mid-week timeframe. I was there over a summer at about 3pm on a Monday and my friend and I were among the only customers (yet it's so small there, you don't have that 'dead space' feeling when a larger restaurant is close to empty). It's a favorite "playing hookey" spot of mine.